What he hadn’t managed to do is find the cute girl from the Swamis parking lot. Surfline Man was starting to wonder if she ever existed at all. Was she just a dream? He could not rule out this depressing possibility.

Surfline Man falls in love with girl at Swamis carpark: “Was she just a dream? He could not rule out this depressing possibility…”

Maybe she would let him ride her surfboard sometime. He is super sure that she is The One.

When we last saw Surfline Man, his girlfriend had left him, which was sad.

(Read here.)

But Surfline Man bought a new midlength and set big goals for his cutback. Sure, he misses his girlfriend, I mean, she was pretty great!

But his cutback is feeling so good lately.

Even better, Surfline Man spotted a cute girl in the Swamis parking lot. Maybe she would let him ride her surfboard sometime. When he saw her, he felt something and he’s pretty sure it wasn’t the burrito he had for breakfast. He is super sure that she is The One.

Now, if he could just meet her.

In search of new horizons — and hopefully, the cute girl at Swamis — Surfline Man recently moved to Cardiff. So tired of the whole Trestles scene, brah. Fucking circus, gotta get out of there.

Also, his ex-girlfriend’s parents owned the house, so that was a problem.

Set on his new course, Surfline Man packed up his quiver, every last one, including the yellowed, super thin shortboard that he hasn’t ridden since high school. It turns out Surfline Man is the sentimental sort, at least when it comes to surfboards.

Finally after several trips, he’s not about to admit how many, he moved out of his ex-girlfriend’s house into fresh digs of his own. Sure, he doesn’t have any furniture — his ex owned all the furniture, too — but at least there’s plenty of room for his boards.

A whole garage!

A man could go far with a whole garage.

Right now, Surfline Man should be buying a bed at West Elm or something, but he’s not. Surfline Man needs an ebike so bad. He could get to Swamis so fast! No messing around with parking, just boom! Right there. He is on the internet, furiously searching.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man with a garage must fill it, ideally with many gadgets of mixed utility.

Eventually his shiny, new ebike arrived on his doorstep. It’s a Rad Power Bike, they’re the best, you know, he said to one of his new friends in the Swamis parking lot. Kelly Slater has one just like it at Surf Ranch!

Each day, Surfline Man zips up to the Pannikin on his rad new bicycle. I mean, it has rad in the name! How could a boy resist?

By now, he had become a regular at the Encinitas landmark, whose ancient, creaking Victorian architecture spoke to something deep in his soul. He wasn’t quite sure what, but it spoke to him, totally.

It’s such a cool scene, you should come down and hang! He told all his old friends back in San Clemente. It’s the fucking best!

There he sits, sipping his Chai Latte on the lawn out front, scouring the scene for cute girls, and infinite scrolling through Instagram.

By this point he had also managed to acquire a bed and some other assorted furnishings, nothing that matched, because really, he couldn’t be bothered with such things.

Life is too short, brah, a chair is a fucking chair.

What he hadn’t managed to do is find the cute girl from the Swamis parking lot. Surfline Man was starting to wonder if she ever existed at all.

Was she just a dream? He could not rule out this depressing possibility.

There is only so much Rad Power Biking and Chai Latte drinking a man can do. Even worse, his ex threw out his sourdough starter one night in a fit of, well, something. He can’t even make bread any more. All that time practicing his kneading, it’s all gone to waste.

To make matters worse, the surf proved relentlessly, impressively flat. All the colors and graphs and pictures couldn’t hide the terrible reality. There were, in fact, no waves. And no waves coming any time soon.

He had a new midlength to ride, a cutback to improve, and a cute girl from the Swamis parking lot to find.

The universe was totally not cooperating! Like at all.

There is only so much Rad Power Biking and Chai Latte drinking a man can do. Even worse, his ex threw out his sourdough starter one night in a fit of, well, something. He can’t even make bread any more. All that time practicing his kneading, it’s all gone to waste.

Desperate, Surfline Man decided to try running on the beach. Going to the beach to run would be almost like going to the beach to surf, he reasoned.

But running made him uncomfortable. His knees started to hurt. Sweat appeared in places he preferred not to think about. Really, running was very disappointing. He did not think he could do it for even one more day.

And he did not see the cute girl from Swamis.

This was honestly, a bit of a relief, because Surfline Man did not feel at all at his best, while running. Maybe it was possible to look suave as fuck huffing and panting and sweating through a beach run. But not for him, he felt quite certain.

Then one day, he walked down to Seaside Market to buy a sandwich and maybe some other things. They sell surf wax there!

This makes him feel more things, mostly sad things, as he remembers how all the charts and all the graphs show such an enduring lack of surf.

In a desultory way, he wandered the aisles. Maybe he should cook something tonight. Fuck it, he’ll just order pizza. Pizza understands.

Then he saw her. The cute girl from Swamis! Right there in the Seaside Market!

Fresh-faced and glowing, she stood at the deli counter and waited for her kale salad. She wore some kind of athletic thing, like lululemon or something. Surfline Man can never keep these things straight.

But she looked even cuter right there, up close, in the Seaside Market, than she had in the parking lot at Swamis.

He tried his best not to stare.

Really, he did.

I mean, he’s not like some kind of creep or whatever. But Surfline Man is only a man.

So he fake-casual browsed the sushi rolls, while totally staring at the cute girl and desperately summoning up a friendly, not at all weird way to approach her.

His brain froze. Why is life so impossible, sometimes?

I think I saw you at Swamis a while back, he says. You have a sweet Ryan Lovelace board, right?

She looks surprised. And then she pauses, as though deciding whether to answer. The cute girl from the Swamis parking lot does not typically talk to random men in the grocery store.

She looks at Surfline Man, assessing.

With his floppy blonde hair and day-old scruff, he is earnest and awkward, like a golden retriever who bounds around the house, knocking shit off the table, just wagging his tail.

This vibe totally saves him, though he doesn’t know it. Whatever else he may be, Surfline Man is not creepy.

Yeah, I mean, I think that was me, probably, she says. I haven’t like been surfing much lately, though. It’s so flat.

It is! he answers eagerly. I think I’m like starting to lose my mind, in fact. I tried running but it kinda sucked. I don’t really know what to do now.

She looks at him again. He really does seem kind of sweet.

Do you ever do yoga? she asks.

I’m new to town, so I haven’t really figured out where to go yet, he says, hoping she doesn’t notice he’s totally lying. His ex used to try to get him to do yoga.

There’s a cool Bikram studio in Encinitas, she says. I usually go early in the morning. It’s just such a great way to start my day!

Maybe I’ll see you there sometime, he says, trying to be casual and totally not succeeding.

What’s your name? I’m Casey.

Trent. It’s super cool to meet you, he says.

Cool, yeah, she says, smiling.

Casey, the cute girl from the Swamis parking lot, picks up her kale salad, long since ready, and waves.

He watches her walk away, he can’t help himself. Of course, she totally knows he’s watching.

Surfline Man pays for his sushi rolls. He doesn’t even like sushi, but whatever, he met the cute girl from the Swamis parking lot! He buys a block of surf wax, just for luck, you know.

Then he saunters into the warm, golden California light, trying his best to play it cool, but totally not succeeding. He met her! He can’t even believe it.

He figures he’d better buy some yoga clothes that don’t look too bad, and Surfline Man needs to find the Bikram studio in Encinitas. For a man who tracks swells on many-colored graphs and such, this all seems like a pretty straightforward thing.

Surfline Man feels certain the internet can solve all his problems.

He just hopes yoga doesn’t make him too sweaty.

He has a cute girl to impress!

Great White Sex: Vice-ridden Shark, Good Time Gal, observed making love for first time in human history: “Four-plus tons of combined apex predator flesh is an extraordinarily delicate dance!”

"Their taut grey bodies were pushed closely together, belly to belly, revolving the entire time…"

It all came undone sooner than I imagined. Great White Shark morality, long an inspirational high tower within the animal kingdom, showed its first crack days ago when a vice-ridden fifteen-footer knocked a gentle superintendent out of his canoe, near San Francisco, and proceeded to “smoke it like a cigar.”

I was instantly worried that Great Whites would begin seeking other pleasures of the flesh. Hot toddies and cool jazz. Good Time gals in the bad part of town.

A wave of unchecked depravity.

Well,  in a just uncovered story, it appears that the inspirational high tower not only cracked years ago but also crumbled.

Marine biologist Steve Crawford had been waiting to witness Great White sharks making love in public for his whole life when he heard a tale about an old New Zealander fisherman who had seen the act with his very own eyes.

Long considered the “holy grail” of marine biology, Crawford raced to meet 82-year-old Dick Ledgerwood to hear with his very own ears and was not disappointed.

Ledgerwood had witnessed the dance in 1997 when out fishing in Otago harbor. On an early November morning he tooke his ship out and set off from Dunedin, heading east to Port Chalmers for fuel. On the way his first mate Roy hollered, “Oh Dick. There’s something white in the water back there.”

According to Crawford’s retelling, “It was two sharks wedged close together, and they were just revolving round and round, very, very slowly.”

The fishermen had never seen anything like it.

They stopped the boat and gaped at two, four-meter sharks “locked together” in just four meters of water.

Despite the onlookers, the Great Whites just carried on without shame.

“They were … locked together, and just revolving in slow circles,” Ledgerwood continued,.

“Their taut grey bodies were pushed closely together, belly to belly, revolving the entire time. They were clenched on. Rolling and rolling and rolling. We just drifted up, and they didn’t worry. I mean you wouldn’t, would you? laughs. Well, I wouldn’t.”

And it appears as if Dick Ledgerwood is something of an exhibitionist himself.

This whole business is profoundly disturbing and I fear that Great Whites may already be well past listening to Sinatra, martinis, above-the-knee skirts and already be well into 1970s swinger party debauchery or even 1980s unchecked hedonism.

More as the story develops.

Watch: “What if someone on the beach filmed the worst wave you ever surfed and it went viral on social media?”

Live from David Lee Scale's pied-à-terre.

We all, each of us, have caught a fine wave and blown it so badly as to bring shame on multiple generations of our family. I’m not writing here about when we are learning to surf as children, or vulnerable adults, and don’t really know what a fine wave is nor am I writing about a wipeout where feet are never planted. I am writing about being in position to catch the wave of the day, paddling, taking off, getting stance so egregiously wrong, arms akimbo, bottom in air, heel over rail, etc. and straight blowing it.

Looking around after missing the best section hoping nobody saw.

Haunted for days afterward.

Oh it is the worst thing to suffer privately and David Lee Scales had such a moment days ago. Now, usually other surfers either don’t see or don’t care. We all, none of us, are professionals and so don’t garner collected looks but what if, by chance, someone happened to catch the worst wave you have ever surfed and it went viral on social media?

I’m not writing here about @kookoftheday or any sort of surf-specific viral. I’m writing about viral viral. Like, Joe Rogan plays it on his podcast, Facebook posts it as its homepage, late night comedians laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.

How would you respond?

Stop surfing?

Host a media event at your local so that everyone can see how much you rip?

Join in on the fun making?

Much to ponder.

David Lee and I also discuss how crap the World Surf League is. A greatest hit of sorts.

Watch here!

Longtom: Aussie taxpayer gazumps WSL with new model of pro surfing!

A glimpse of a post-WSL future…

Some time a little while back in the early days of Covid chaos the posit was made that if, or when, pro surfing fell over one of the potential outcomes was the Aussie taxpayer, pro surfing’s most faithful stakeholder whose deep pockets never run dry when it comes time to rattle the tin, could pick up the pieces and run their own Tour.

That vision has now come to pass with the development and broadcast (on free-to-air TV) of a new concept tagged Rivals.

Rivals is a Surfing Australia joint, an organisation generously plumped by a spigot of gubbermint funding and made even more flush by the entrepreneurial zeal of its former and most successful CEO, Andrew Stark.

Starky, if you are new to the game, is now head honcho of WSL Australasia and chief pitch man for the Kelly Slater tub proposal at Coolum.

The premise of Rivals is simple yet brilliant.

Take former pros, film them shit-talking each other to generate some pre-”match” heat, add some biographical sauce to the sausage, then document a single two-hour session at their homebreak culled from a forty-five day waiting period with the best three waves chosen by the surfer and judged by the audience.

We’re used to seeing the ageless Kelly Slater as the avatar of the middle-aged surfer but Hog, and others in Rivals provide a more representative sample of the effects of a life in the church of the open sky.

It ain’t pretty. We age terribly.

It offers an elegant circumvention of pro surfing’s thorniest challenges in this accursed 2020. That being Covid travel restrictions and the environmental indulgence of excess travel.

I paid no attention to the flurry of promo emails and caught up with the series by mistake on YouTube, starting with episode three featuring Nathan “Hog” Hedge. We’re used to seeing the ageless Kelly Slater as the avatar of the middle-aged surfer but Hog, and others in Rivals provide a more representative sample of the effects of a life in the church of the open sky.

It ain’t pretty.

We age terribly.

Still, Hog rips and the cameos of the Carroll brothers, muscles rippling in their dotage and heads that would scare a dog out of a butcher’s shop, are inspirational.

It’s worth the watch for that alone.

The Hog segment of Rivals confirmed an impression I hold as a truism: pro surfers get more media attention at the beginning of their CT careers but become far more interesting once they are off Tour. Kelly being one exception; he’s far more interesting now.

Fanning is another, at the other end of the scale. He’s as interesting as he’s ever been but gets far more attention now off the Tour.

Not sure about the states but in Australia Fanning is bigger than Jesus right now.

Sixty Minutes segment on his new bub, front page in glossy magazines, a bona fide celebrity down under.

His omniscience continues in Rivals, where it makes a nice contrast with his former Coolie Kid honchos Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison. Parko looks like every second fifty-year-old Deus Dad walking the streets of Byron Bay with a salt and pepper beard nursing a kombucha and a mild hangover.

Dingo wears the countenance of the man used to physical labour signed up to cage fight in twent-one days.

The chemistry between the Coolie kids illustrates a weakness of the series. Not everyone can carry an Ep.

Hog pulls it off, as does Josh Kerr.

Jay Bottle Thompson’s segment is much weaker. The high point is Botts trying to negotiate his way through Sunday morning Burleigh with a wave count artificially inflated by some very cunty behaviour. I say high point when I mean low point but it does foreground pro surfing’s elephant in the room.

Which is the very uneasy detente between pro surfing and the vast majority of recreational surfers upon which it depends for it’s fan base and access to venues.

How fucking exciting would it be to see the local concretor after a night on the meth and a bad row with the missus aimed up at Dingo or even Saint Mick?

Rivals, which takes place in amongst the recreational rabble, features the very real potential for true carnage. No disrespect to Bottle but he has the mien of a man who couldn’t punch his way out of a wet paper bag. I’m not condoning it, or even encouraging it but how fucking exciting would it be to see the local concretor after a night on the meth and a bad row with the missus aimed up at Dingo or even Saint Mick?

Thats always been a black irony of the govt funded surfing bureaucratic-industrial state. They foment chaos and violence amongst the very people who’s interests they are supposed to represent.

Would Rivals keep any incident in the final show?

I think, yes.

The excellent narration is written and delivered by Jed Smith, one half of the Ain’t that Swell team. Jed plays it for laughs with a hyper-bogan delivery and realism that is the anti-Turpel in almost every way.

Maybe a delivery that is too Australian for an international audience?

Judging by some of the comments below the line in YouTube, yes.

If the producers of Rivals have missed a trick it’s by keeping the talent confirmed to old pros. How much more entertaining to have an Ep with Noa Deane, Creed or Craig Anderson, rather than old warhorses like Bottle or “Micro” Hall.

That would bridge the pro surfer/freesurfer divide perfectly in a post contest world.

Still, as a glimpse of a post-WSL future or even as alternative to being smothered in the slow moving sludge river of schmaltz that is their commissioned content, Rivals is as thirst quenching as an ice cold VB and as brilliant as the blazing sunshine in an Antipodean sky.

Now, who’ll give me odds on the first pro to get their porthole punched out by a cuckolded reccie.


Florida man shows best of humanity by gently and lovingly cradling shark that viciously attacked him, refusing to let go, for multiple hours!

Who we strive to be.

Humans get a very bad rap these days, especially mans and most especially Florida mans. The Sunshine State’s ten million males are known for wanton weirdness, misplaced rage, poor decision making, Jimmy Buffett. An XY blend so seemingly corrupted there is a whole website dedicated to making men, and women, who live in other states feel better about themselves.

Well, as of a few days ago all that may change.

For it was there on Jensen Beach, very near Port St. Lucie, that a Florida man simply named Jeremy was severely bitten by a confused nurse shark. A poor animal so befuddled, so perplexed that it refused to let go for hours.

What did Jeremy do? Bash the creature on the head with a conch shell until its unnecessarily aggressive brain matter filled the Atlantic?


He lovingly cradled the chronrichthye as if it were his own child, likely knowing that he had entered its environment and deserved the whatever manner of dismemberment befell him, while lifeguards and firemen gathered trying to figure out how to dislodge the sharp, extremely painful teeth.

Jeremy continued smiling and joking as a crowd gathered. After much time, shark still affixed to arm, the lifeguards and firemen gave up and transferred him to a local hospital where the shark was removed and thrown into a medical waste bag.

“You’re a hero!” one man on the beach shouted as he was wheeled away.

A hero indeed, displaying the very best of humanity. Showing what makes us very cool and sharks beautiful but completely un-evolved.

The Florida Man I strive to be.